space·​craft | \ ˈspās-ˌkraft How to pronounce spacecraft (audio) \

Definition of spacecraft

: a vehicle or device designed for travel or operation outside the earth's atmosphere

Examples of spacecraft in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

China plans to send another spacecraft to the moon this year. Christian Davenport, Washington Post, "Another front in the tensions between the U.S. and China: Space," 26 July 2019 Sending a spacecraft to study Uranus and Neptune up close would help unravel this enigma—if only NASA (or another space agency) would select one of the many existing proposals to do just that. Robin George Andrews, Scientific American, "Burying CAESAR: How NASA Picks Winners—and Losers—in Space Exploration," 25 July 2019 Four other countries — China, Japan, India and the former Soviet Union — and the European Space Agency have sent unmanned spacecraft or probes to the moon. Anne Ryman, azcentral, "What happened to the American flags on the moon? Arizona professor has the answer," 17 July 2019 The Dragonfly mission beat out a mission titled CAESAR that would have sent a spacecraft to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, gathered samples and returned it to Earth. Richard Tribou,, "NASA to send flying drone Dragonfly to Saturn moon Titan," 27 June 2019 This sent the Soyuz spacecraft on a ballistic return trajectory to Earth that saved the lives of NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Aleksey Ovchinin. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Two months after mishap, Russian Soyuz rockets back into space with crew," 3 Dec. 2018 Wind gusts could send the spacecraft into a dangerous tumble during descent, or the parachute could get tangled. Marcia Dunn, The Seattle Times, "Mars revisited: NASA spacecraft days away from risky landing," 21 Nov. 2018 The Planetary Society’s LightSail 2, now fully deployed, is the first spacecraft in Earth orbit to be propelled only by sunlight. Robert Z. Pearlman, Scientific American, "Solar Sailing Success: Planetary Society Deploys LightSail 2," 23 July 2019 The mission aims to follow up on 2008’s Chandrayaan-1 orbiter, India’s first lunar spacecraft. Michael Greshko, National Geographic, "India's historic moon mission launches toward lunar south pole," 22 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'spacecraft.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of spacecraft

1929, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for spacecraft

Last Updated

20 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for spacecraft

The first known use of spacecraft was in 1929

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More Definitions for spacecraft



English Language Learners Definition of spacecraft

: a vehicle that is used for travel in outer space


space·​craft | \ ˈspās-ˌkraft How to pronounce spacecraft (audio) \
plural spacecraft

Kids Definition of spacecraft

: a vehicle for travel beyond the earth's atmosphere

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More from Merriam-Webster on spacecraft

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with spacecraft

Spanish Central: Translation of spacecraft

Nglish: Translation of spacecraft for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of spacecraft for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about spacecraft

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